The cleaning industry is highly labour-intensive, with businesses allocating a large majority of expenses to funding people-power. Efficiency of staff and productivity are paramount to the success of cleaning companies. The longer it takes staff to complete tasks, the more they must be paid, increasing expenses and minimising business profits.
How Do Businesses Improve Staff Productivity
So, how do businesses get the best out of their staff to ensure the greatest productivity?
Cleaning companies should aim to provide staff with solutions to clean quickly and efficiently while ensuring that the finished result is still sparkling clean. Below are four tips which aim to help cleaning business owners get the most out of their staff.
1. Use The Best You Can Buy
Providing cleaning staff with the highest performing cleaning products and tools will enable them to do the best job possible in the shortest amount of time.
“Highly concentrated cleaning products are much more effective than their cheaper, watery counterparts,” says Paul Agar, Technical Director of Agar Cleaning Systems.
“They will instantly improve cleaning staffs’ productivity through utilising higher quality ingredients, which attack soil faster and provide quicker results without compromising safety or damaging surfaces.”
Spending slightly more on products upfront can reduce your expenses over the long term by minimising manual labour and improving the life cycle of cleaning chemicals.
Don’t make the decision to invest in a supplier lightly – search for quality products, seek referrals and run trials to ensure you make the right decision for the needs of your business. Agar’s cleaning products have been designed with the cleaner in mind, ensuring that each product provides unmatched performance.
2. Cleaning Less Frequently May Be A False Economy
How frequently a cleaning task is completed will greatly affect the time it takes to be cleaned. Surfaces only cleaned weekly will build up a greater amount of soil than surfaces cleaned daily, requiring more time and effort to return them to the desired finish.
Furthermore, cleaning less frequently generally requires a greater amount of cleaning products to be used to achieve the same result.
Where possible, have staff clean more difficult areas more frequently, such as bathrooms, floors and kitchens. Regularly removing grease, soil, soap scum, and dirt will ensure that build-up does not occur and cleaners can consistently achieve beautiful finishes without reducing productivity.
3. See Training As An Investment, Not A Cost
The Australian cleaning industry has seen a shift in its employees over the last few years from career cleaners to casual workers. Staff are no longer spending decades in the industry perfecting their craft but rather signing up for the popular entry-level job for its universal abilities (people from all over the world practice the art of cleaning).
Unfortunately, an eagerness to work and some experience cleaning at home do not always equate to competent professional cleaners. Simultaneously, equipping employees with quality products and a schedule of tasks does not guarantee that they will be efficient at the job. Cleaning staff must be shown the most productive and precise means for achieving the best cleaning results.
Several options for training cleaning staff are available, including certificates from various TAFEs and online short courses from institutes such as the Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) and in-house training.
If you provide new staff with on-the-job training, it is a good idea to outline your expectations. Provide them with worksheets which highlight what the desired standards are as well as outlining how long they should dedicate to each task. It is also a good idea to provide them with other information which may save them time, such as the order in which tasks should be completed and which products to use for what surface. Include any other tips you have found useful, as well.
While staff are training to reach the cleaning standards within the detailed timeline, assigning them a cleaning partner is a good idea to ensure that they are performing the tasks correctly.
It is also worth auditing staff cleaning practices after they have been in the role for a while to ensure they complete tasks most efficiently and effectively.
Agar provides online chemical handling staff training, which teaches employees safety requirements and risk management procedures for using cleaning products. With six free courses recently updated in 2023, we share 55 years of chemical expertise to improve the quality of your cleaning and efficiency while minimising waste, misuse, and risks.
To sign up to the program, please visit training.agar.com.au/ and register.
4. Keep Them Motivated
Keeping staff motivated is a challenge regardless of the industry and cleaners are no different. Lack of motivation can have a major impact on productivity but there are ways to counteract it and ensure that you get the most from your staff.
Motivating staff does not have to hit your hip pocket, in fact many managers are now realising that drive is less to do with the dollars and more about the employee’s sense of self-worth. With this in mind focus your attention on generously praising staff when they do a good job.
Run small competitions and give out regular rewards to members of your team who are performing well. Take the time to recognise their successes in front of the other members and other employees will strive to be the next person who is acknowledged.
Build a company bond through doing things together outside of work, sharing business successes and thanking staff for their contribution as well as letting them in on company goals.
All of these little things add up to give employees a greater purpose in their roles which can help you improve the overall productivity of your business.
5. Embrace Feedback and Adaptation
Encourage a culture where feedback from your cleaning staff is valued. Their insights from the ground level can provide invaluable information on what works and what doesn’t. Being open to change and ready to adapt to better techniques or new innovations is crucial for improving productivity and overall efficiency.
Boosting productivity among your cleaning staff is a multifaceted approach. It requires an investment in quality products, continuous training, motivation, and a willingness to adapt to change. By implementing these strategies, cleaning businesses can optimise operations, keep employees satisfied, and ensure a high standard of cleaning which, in turn, reflects well on the business and contributes to its success.
For quality products that are trusted by cleaners around Australia, visit agar.com.au.